Three young man rode up to a town centre clothes shop in Wrexham on a motorcycle in the early hours and a piece of concrete was hurled through the window.

A large quantity of designer clothing valued at some £8,600 was taken in the raid on the Ragazzi menswear shop in Yorke Street one morning in June.

The following day, again in the early hours, four men turned up at the HSS Hire Company at Abenbury Way on Wrexham Industrial Estate with wire cutters.

They got in through the perimeter fence and a shutter was pulled open.

One of the men went inside and passed out a large number of power tools including chain saws and tile cutters valued at about £5,000.

Six hours later, police acting on a tip-off were at the home of Sam Prandle on the Caia Park estate in Wrexham where he was arrested along with four others.

Most of the  property stolen from both premises was found in the flat.

The youths were bare chested and appeared to have been trying on the designer gear when officers arrived.

It took 15 minutes for police to get into the flat and barrister James Coutts, prosecuting, said two were found hiding in a cupboard. Another was arrested as he went to leave the flat.

Clothes the defendants might have been wearing were found in the washing machine.

Prandle and the others had all originally been charged with conspiring to burgle.

They denied any conspiracy and a trial was due to be held, but after a review of the evidence the prosecution accepted guilty pleas to a handling charge.

Judge Niclas Parry said they would be sentenced for handling and not for burglary but it was as plain as a pikestaff that there was advance knowledge of the primary offence.

The property had been stolen to order and it was clear the defendants were in recent possession of stolen goods of high value.

Rhys Robert Jones, 18, of Speke in Liverpool and Nathan Lee Scott, 26, of Archers Way in Rhosnesni, Wrexham, each received a 12 month custodial sentence.

Ben Wayne Coffin, 18, of Whitegate Road and Sam Weager Prandle, 27, of Kingsmills Road, both Caia Park, Wrexham, each received 10 months, and a youth of 17 who cannot be publicity identified received a four month detention and training order.

Judge Parry said two sophisticated, pre-planned organised commercial burglaries occurred in Wrexham in June.

In the first, three offenders on a motorbike gained entry by throwing a concrete slab through a window and a large quantity of clothing was stolen.

One day later, four men went to commercial premises on the Wrexham Industrial Estate and after cutting a hole in the perimeter fence and prizing open the shutters, power tools valued at more than £5,000 had been taken.

“The underlying offence was serious, planned and sophisticated,” he said.

Six hours later all the property was hound at Prandle’s home and “all the rest of you were found there”.

Clothing matching those worn by the burglars had been found in the washing machine.

“You are quite rightly not being sentenced for the burglary,” he said.

“But they were serious offences that gave rise to the handling offence.”

It had been “burglary to order” and no doubt the burglars knew where the goods could go.

“That made the burglaries worthwhile,” Judge Parry said.

They would, however, be given maximum credit in sentence for their guilty pleas to the alternative offence of handling.

Det Sgt Eleri Thomas at Wrexham CID said after the hearing: “These young men are prolific offenders who because of their continued behaviour will be spending Christmas away from family and friends.

“I welcome their imprisonment as will,  I’m sure,  many local people. Wrexham is now a safer place.

“I’d like to reassure local communities we will relentlessly pursue those few who cause the most harm and ensure offenders are brought to justice.”